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IWT 11 Theme Thread

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  • Locke
    When I think of horror, there's usually an element of the supernatural somewhere in there. It's fine to point out that "hell is other people" and make it into a crime drama or whatever, but it's that spark of something not quite of this world that draws my interest.

    It's been a long time since I've read anything from the genre (I did try writing it once, in high school; the result was "Gorefest in Twelve and a Half Pages," and it was about what you'd expect), but I always thought the most exquisite horror stories - the ones that sent chills down my spine - were the "things that go bump in the night" variety. There's a kind of horror that plays heavily on fear of the unknown - really lends itself to suspense - and at its best creates these moments of existential dread.

    I feel like a lot of writers (e.g. Dead Koontz) drop the ball when they explain "the unknown" - losing the horror element - and try to finish the story out with action/suspense. I'm not saying "suspense, with horror tropes thrown in" is a bad thing, but the transition can be kind of a letdown.

    Then there's that "other" kind of horror - the campy kind - and I'm not talking that down at all. The one that jumps to mind is "John Dies at the End." I felt sort of let down by the last third of that one, but for the most part it was a fun read.

    Anyway, if you're going with the "grab bag" approach, you could separate it into categories and have everyone pick one or two from each, or just leave it as one open-ended lump. Alternatively - since you seem to favor the structure of the "Science Fiction" contest - you could call IWT 11 something suggestive (e.g. the "From Hell" contest) and then seed the grab-bag with horror-centric themes. I threw together a sort of brainstorm - I'm not suggesting any of these be included (it would be terrible if you used this as the list); it's just a stream-of-consciousness intended to get the gears turning.

    recursion, thug life, dirt, chain of sin, metamorphosis, insanity, the old house, the unknown

    isolation, ghost town, intimacy, the artifact, invocations, on being devoured

    the clairvoyant, corruption, possession, losing time, the cemetery, the unreal, the woods, burning, drowning, the setting sun

    the curse, the pagan rite, the occult, sigils, inescapable, surgery, the living shadow, the rule of three

    the last day, secrets, the open door, shop of horrors, the suicide, the watcher, betrayal, paralyzed, falling, death by increments.

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  • donteatpoop
    Time period: Your story must take place in a specific time period. You may choose between the following 4 time periods...

    Early 20th century
    Medieval times
    Victorian era

    any theme goes, time period is all that matters.

    Whatever you go with, the less restrictive the guidelines the better your turn out would potentially be. From your example above I'd recommend either the genre of horror or 'pick one of these tropes' (regardless of genre).
    Last edited by donteatpoop; 03-22-2014, 01:38 PM.

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  • BatCountry
    started a topic IWT 11 Theme Thread

    IWT 11 Theme Thread

    So before I make the official thread on April 1st I would like to extend the chance for everyone to throw some ideas into the proverbial creative stew. Any suggestion you have for me to make the contest better please let me know here. Be gentle it's my first time.

    No promises on me using any of the ideas thrown at me, but it doesn't hurt and will most likely help me out a bit. As of this moment I'm leaning towards another grab bag type story. The Science Fiction grab bag contest had a lot of entrants and maybe people just found it more accessible doing it that way. I'd like to go with Horror as the theme and make up a list of tropes to choose three from. List of tropes will consist of at least ten suggestions.

    I want to shoot for a finish date of mid January to get back to the end times of the previous contest, but I'm open to suggestion on that. Let me know what you guys think. I will be a benevolent lord for now. Appreciate this mercy and take advantage while you can!

    I will be making the IWT 11 official thread on April 1st, so get all your ideas into this thread before I make the new thread!!
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